BY CHARLES MEMMINGER – Dang. I missed National Go Topless Day. Again. Can’t we have a little advanced warning when such an important national “day” is coming up? It’s not that I was going to take my shirt off, or anything. People pay me money not to take my clothes off. If I walked around Waikiki with my shirt off, someone would start a national “No Topless Day” in my honor.

But I would have gone down to Waikiki to show my complete support of the Go Topless Movement. I think all right-thinking Americans should do everything they can to promote gender equality, especially if it involves cute chicks taking off their tops in public.

According to the official topless website GoTopless.org, National Go Topless Day is on Aug. 21. The website explains: “We are a U.S.-based organization founded in 2007 by spiritual leader Rael and we claim that women have the same constitutional right that men have to go bare-chested in public.”

“As long as men are allowed to be topless in public, women should have the same constitutional right. Or else, men should have to wear something to hide their chests” said Rael, founder of GoTopless.org and spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement . (The Raelian Movement teaches that life on Earth was scientifically created by a species of extraterrestrials, which they call the Elohim, which, while interesting, doesn’t really explain the movement’s interest in exposed hooters. )

After discovering the website GoTopless.org it became one of my favorite Internet destinations. I could really get behind, or at least in front of, this movement. On the site, there’s lots of pictures of chicks going topless. And one picture of a man fatter than New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sitting on a beach with his shirt off. The caption to the picture merely says, “Allowed?”

If I had gone down to Waikiki on National Go Topless Day I would have been disappointed. There were only two people going topless and carrying protest signs and one of them was a dude. They were Jamie and Tess Meier and, according to a report on KITV news, both had red tape over their nipples. Nevertheless, KITV saw fit to fuzzy out Tess’s chest with digital pixels and blur out whatever one of her protest signs said. It shows you how far the mainstream media will go to manipulate the news these days. Here’s this civic-minded young citizen exercising her Constitutional right to free speech and free expression and some prudish TV news station decides to deprive viewers of the full extent of her message.

Most passersby seemed supportive of the protest to the extent that some guys actually took photos of themselves posing with Ms. Meier. I didn’t see anyone in the news clip posing with the red-taped chest of the presumed Mr. Meier. He was holding a sign that said, “I support gender equality. Do you?” but everyone was ignoring him in favor of his better half.

In any case, the police came and broke up the demonstration and cited the couple for not having a permit for their gathering.  That’s not too surprising since the protest was practically taking place in front of the Waikiki Police Substation.  Ironically, or aggravatingly for the protestors, the citation had nothing to do with anyone taking their tops off.

Of course the usual supporters of protesting nitwits were outraged that the police had once again done what police do (i.e. enforce laws) and the ACLU naturally stepped in to right this outrage of totalitarian whatever-you-call it. Honolulu City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, a smart man who knows how to pick his battles, eventually cancelled the citations – or uncited them – or something along the legal line that left the Meiers in the clear.

This didn’t stop the excitable, anti-everything, rabble at the couple’s not getting charged with anything.

On the website “Disappeared News,” a decidedly less sexy website then GoTopless.org, the founder Larry Geller, made complaints about the coverage of the incident by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Disappeared News seemed outraged that newspaper editors had the audacity to write the headline: “Topless, Permitless Protest Will Go Unprosecuted By City” as if the headline proved the Star-Advertiser WANTED the couple prosecuted when it was merely reporting that the city would not prosecute the protestors.

Ironically for a website called “Disappeared News,” which purports to give readers news that has been “disappeared” on purpose, Mr. Geller completely “disappeared” the whole point of the Waikiki protest in piece he wrote on September 16.

In a blog several hundred words long, Geller talked about the protest, the couple being cited, the ACLU asking that the charges be immediately dismissed, and even went so far as to suggest that the Honolulu Police were just practicing for all the illegal bullyboy tactics they have planned for protesters expected at the Asian Pacific conference in Hawaii in November.

Now, I’m not accusing Geller of deliberately “disappearing” any relevant news in his coverage of this non-event, but in his blog about the Meiers protest, he never once mentions the point of the protest was promote women going topless in public, or that is was part of National Go Topless Day, or that the couple had been topless, which was the whole reason for them being there.

You have to feel bad for Tess Meier … she boldly goes topless in Waikiki in honor of National Go Topless Day and the local TV station blurs out her protest signs and “other things” and her boobies don’t even get a mention.

Oh, well. There’s always next year, which I’m marking on my calendar now.

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Charles Memminger is a national award-winning columnist, screenwriter and author. His first novel, "Aloha, Lady Blue" will be published nationally Jan. 22, 2013 by St. Martin's Press. Memminger is a senior writer at Communications Pacific, Hawaii's premier communications, marketing and PR firms. Memminger's commentary represents his personal views and are not affiliated with any organization. To keep up with developments regarding "Aloha, Lady Blue," like him at: http://www.facebook.com/charles.memminger. E-mail him at cmemminger@hawaii.rr.com